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Vine Swing

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The usual way of transportation of a Nature Hero: grab a conveniently placed, always available vine on a tree, and swing on it to the next one. Very common in Jungle Opera settings or in Jungle Japes levels of video games.

In fiction, these vines will usually be portrayed as flexible as ropes. In Real Life, those that are strong enough to carry the weight of a human are much more stiff.

Often used as a Stock Shout-Out to the Trope Codifier, Tarzan; the character swinging on the vine often makes the ape-man's unique yell.

Compare Building Swing, which is this done in a more man-made environment, usually with ropes, and Chandelier Swing, the indoors, swashbuckling counterpart.

When you do it, you need to Watch Out for That Tree!.



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    Anime and Manga 

    Asian Animation 
  • In episode 14 of Happy Heroes, Doctor H. swings on a vine in Mr. Lightbulb's garden, only to hit a wall.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Master Paopao does a vine swing near the end of Joys of Seasons episode 24 as part of a surprise paintball attack on the goats.

    Comic Strips 
  • Nero: Done a lot in this comic strip and always accompanied by a Tarzan yell.
  • Parodied in several The Far Side comics, often with Tarzan being the swinger: losing his keys and wallet, missing his morning "commuter vine" as it swings by his treehouse, mistaking a snake for a vine, and so forth. Another features an ape swinging clear across Africa, having caught the ultimate vine.

    Film — Animated 
  • Torzonborz in the sequel of Cat City travels around in the jungle like this, as he's pretty much a Funny Animal version of Tarzan.
  • The lemurs in Disney's Dinosaur swing from vines as a way to choose mates: when one male lemur and one female lemur end up on the same vine, they climb to the top and "get busy". Poor Zini always ends up unmatched.
  • In The Emperor's New Groove, Pacha does this to save Kuzco from a pack of jaguars, complete with a Tarzan-esque yell. He misses him the first time, but he grabs him as he swings backward.
  • In The Lion King, Timon and Pumbaa make a makeshift swing out of jungle vines during the "Hakuna Matata" song sequence. Then during "Can You Feel The Love Tonight", Simba grabs a vine in his mouth and swings into the water, to the confusion of Nala.
  • In the opening scene of Madagascar, Marty does this during his daydream. Then he and Alex actually do it when they "go wild" on the island of Madagascar.
    • A little later, Melman swings on a vine to save Marty from a pack of fossa.
  • In Shrek, Robin Hood swings on a vine to "rescue" Princess Fiona from Shrek.
  • In Zootopia, Nick and Judy swing on a vine in the Rainforest District to escape from a predator that has turned feral.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In The Adventures of Robin Hood Robin swings on a vine from a tree on one side of a forest path to a boulder on the other while taunting Guy of Gisborne after he and his Merry Men have defeated the group the corrupt knight was leading through the greenwood.
  • George of the Jungle: just like in the cartoon the film is based on, this is George's preferred way of transportation. Him smashing into trees is a Running Gag here as well.
  • Indiana Jones:
  • In The Jungle Book (2016), Mowgli does an engineered version of this (with a cut vine he's turned into a grappling hook) at the climax to escape the dead tree he trapped Shere Khan on.
  • King Kong (2005). Bruce Baxter does this during his Big Damn Heroes in the insect pit, while firing a tommy gun no less. Given that he's an actor, he was likely imitating this trope from one of his movies.
  • In Octopussy, James Bond (Roger Moore) infamously does this while being hunted like an animal by the Big Bad and his henchman and mooks through a jungle in India, complete with the Tarzan yell.
  • Pee-wee's Big Adventure - while eluding the security squad in the movie studio lot, Pee-Wee vine swings over a large pond, on his bike, doing a high-pitched little Tarzan yell.
  • Predator. Dutch covers himself in mud (to block the title opponent's infrared vision) and hides in a tree. The Predator approaches and climbs by him, causing him to use a vine to swing to another tree.
  • Star Wars:
    • In The Empire Strikes Back, swinging from a vine is one of the physical tasks Luke performs during his Jedi training on Dagobah.
    • Chewbacca does it in Return of the Jedi on Endor when attacking an AT-ST walker. He even makes a sound similar to Tarzan's yell.
    • Wookies also do it in Revenge of the Sith during the battle of Kashyyyk.
  • Tarzan in every single film version, be it live-action or animated. He's pretty much the Trope Codifier.
  • Robin Hood swings in on a vine and lands in front of Lurkalot as he is making his way through Sherwood Forest in Up the Chastity Belt.
  • Snatched (2017): While Emily and Linda are traveling through the jungle with the survivalist Roger, they come across a chasm hundreds of feet deep. Roger says they'll have to swing across one by one, and offers to go first. The vine breaks, sending him plummeting to his death.

  • Mentioned as a means of transport in the book How to Be a Superhero, where it is said not to be suited for urban superheroes, as the closest thing cities have to vines is power lines.
  • Surprisingly, Averted in the original Tarzan books. Tarzan would brachiate from tree branch to tree branch, but he never swung on vines.
  • Xandri Corelel: During a jungle battle in Tone of Voice, Xandri notices an enemy soldier under her tree with a grenade. She swings down on a vine so she can kick him over and throw his grenade away.

    Live-Action TV 
  • During "Roar", the cast of Glee get to do this (even Artie in his wheelchair). It is a Shout-Out to the original music video by Katy Perry.
  • Relic Hunter: In "Diamond in the Rough", Sydney has just retrieved a pair of daggers when rival relic hunter Kurt Reiner swings in on a vine and knocks her down in an attempt to steal them.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: Joxer does this in "Fins, Femmes and Gems", swinging in on a vine to abduct Gabrielle, after he becomes obsessed with the story of "Atis, the Ape Man" as a result of Aphrodite's magical perfume.
  • Arrow. In "City of Heroes", John Diggle and Felicity Smoak go to the island of Lian Yu to bring Oliver Queen out of his 10-Minute Retirement. Felicity steps on a Japanese land mine left over from World War 2, but Oliver turns up to rescue Felicity by swooping her up in a Vine Swing so they're swung out of the blast radius.

  • One of the many methods of reaching Oleta Adams in "Get Here":
    Climb a tree and swing rope to rope...
  • "Tarzan" by Johnny "Guitar" Watson:
    Oh, let me swing down on this grapevine here
  • Katy Perry as a Jungle Princess in her music video Roar.
  • Referenced in OneRepublic's "Counting Stars":
    I see this life like a swinging vine/Swing my heart across the line.
  • Veruca Salt's video "Volcano Girls" features the band members doing lots of swinging on large elastic harnesses.

  • The party in the Cool Kids Table game Here We Gooooo! needs to succeed at one to get across a pit. Dario goes first and critically fails.

  • BIONICLE: Lewa and the Le-Matoran do this in Le-Wahi on the island of Mata Nui.

    Video Games 
  • In Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic and Shadow can swing across vines in the Green Forest and White Jungle levels, respectively.
  • Donkey Kong often does this in the games where he's the protagonist, fitting the Jungle Japes setting.
  • Featured in Kingdom Hearts in the Tarzan world. There's even a Mini-Game revolving around this.
  • In the iOs Game Buddy & Me, being set in a child's dream, the forest has tire swings hanging from the trees to do this with. In addition, your flying companion sometimes clings to a tree and positions his tail so you can grab it and swing across a gap.
  • In Spongebob Squarepants Battle For Bikini Bottom, one of the levels features Spongebob doing this.
  • Doing nothing but this is the first level of an old arcade game named Jungle King.
  • In some levels of Spelunky, the player can climb and jump between vines, but the vines don't actually move.
  • Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and Golden Abyss are set in the tropics and Nathan Drake occasionally has to use vines to cross large gaps.
  • In Cabbage Patch Kids: Adventures In The Park, Anna Lee occasionally runs into vines in Babyland Park that she must use to swing across ponds and water holes to get to the other side.
  • Pitfall Harry in Pitfall! occasionally runs into vines to swing over ponds and bottomless pits that open up in the ground. The sound effects replicate the Tarzan yell whenever he does this.
  • Blue's Journey for the Neo Geo has leafy vines hanging around for this purpose.
  • In Rastan, swinging on conveniently placed vines or ropes helps the eponymous Barbarian Hero cross pits of whatever. It's not quite clear what they're hanging from in some outdoor areas.
  • Myst III: Exile does this twice in the Age of Edanna, where everything is natural. Here, the vine is blue, shaped like a trapeze bar, and is even named "Swing Vine".
  • In Balthazar's Dream, Balthazar can swing on vines in the forest level, and rope in the indoor level.
  • Lost Home: The playable snake character can grab onto vines with its mouth, allowing it to swing over gaps and obstacles and climb onto higher areas. Since the main characters cannot normally jump like most platform game protagonists, this is an integral part of the game's platforming mechanics.

  • In Darths & Droids, Ben as Chewbacca attempts to do this to get on top of an Imperial Walker (just like he did in Return of the Jedi), but Sally's suggestion turns it into a snake swing instead because that is much cooler.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 


Video Example(s):


Jungle Spring vine

Mario swings on a vine to get away from the Paper Macho Chain Chomp.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / VineSwing

Media sources:

Main / VineSwing